Ron & Kathy's Travels

Visiting Friends

We’ve just had a lovely week staying with our friends Allan & Vivian who live at Coomba Bay (near Forster) and exploring a little bit of the Forster/Tuncurry and Gloucester surrounds (we plan to spend a lot more time exploring these areas and more of this region on our next trip).

On our way to Coomba Bay on Tuesday we stopped in at Drifta Drawers in Gloucester to purchase a Snow Peak fire pit and tent pegs, a second set of MaxTrax and another C-Gear mat.

Our sightseeing highlights for this week were visiting Seal Rocks and Gloucester Tops and travelling between Gloucester and Coomba Bay by different routes each time (and using unsealed backroads where possible). Our gastronomic highlights were lunch at the Roadie’s Cafe in Gloucester (this is a lovely motorcycle themed cafe), Vivian’s wonderful baked dinners each night, the *amazing* pulled lamb burger I had at the Beach Bums Cafe in Forster, and the delicious Eggs Benedict with Smoked Salmon I had at the Brunch Cafe in Coomba Park (this cafe is run by community volunteers and is only open on Sunday mornings).

Ron and I also went to the Gloucester Motorcycle Expo where we met up with Diane Scaysbrook and Selena Thurbon (of BikieChic fame), watched some VMX (Vintage Motor Cross) racing, checked out the bikes in the Show’N’Shine display and saw a different kind of Postie Bike Challenge (riders raced each other to see who could deliver letters the quickest!).

After leaving Coomba Bay late on Sunday morning we headed for Kinchela (near Kempsey) to visit and stay with our friends Lindsay and Eileen for a few days.


The car and the camper …

We’ve noticed that the second battery in the car wasn’t running the Bushman fridge for as long as we’d hoped when we were weren’t using the car much for a couple of days. We bought a multimeter (one of the things I’d forgotten to pack) and, with Allan’s help, determined that the second battery was not getting fully charged.

With a bit of research I discovered that, for the purpose of meeting emissions standards, the FJ Cruiser has a low output alternator which is resulting in the second battery not charging fully. There are two possible workarounds for this problem: install either a $50 ‘Alternator Voltage Booster’ (AVB) diode or a $500-$600 DCDC charger. For the time being we’ve opted for the AVB (I’ve bought one and should be able to install it next week) but we will go the DCDC charger route if necessary.

In the meantime we were able to fully charge the second battery using a 240v charger and it now seems to be holding its charge better.

We also purchased a 1.5m hose extension and hose connecting nipple for the shower so that we can setup the shower tent a bit further away from the camper.



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